Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 Timeline Check

Lets see...

Honeymoon traveling post for 2011 - post still pending

Bangkok holiday March 2012 - already over, might not post about it

Taiwan holiday April 2012 - already over, might just post about it

Redang holiday June 2012 - changed location to Club Med Cherating, not sure if I'll post about it

Moving in new house - still pending, will definitely mention in some post

Business plans - back to square one = in the curb *sigh*, probably do not know how to post about this one

Since my last post...

My paternal grandpa passed away (during CNY). He got really ill in December, almost after the time when I resigned. So it has been countless trips in and out of the hospital for him and our family. His heart was slowly failing, and it was getting more challenging to care for him. He managed to pull through twice in the intensive care, when all doctors told us to be prepared, he miraculously pulled through. I think he was looking forward to CNY. But unfortunately, he had to be admitted again about 2 days before CNY eve, and he never made it back home and passed on the 5th day of CNY. I guess it was for the best. During the last days, we saw him in so much pain, it saddened us very much. As I'm typing this now, its already been more than a 100 days since he passed away :(

Anyway, after my grandpa's funeral was settled, it was my time to get busy with the new house stuff. Our schedule was quite delayed as we expected to get the keys earlier, but didn't. Then CNY came and most contractors took long breaks, so we had a lot to catch up with. Choosing our contractor, materials for our kitchen cabinets, tiles, making decisions to hack walls, drill holes, patch up stuff, paint works and the list goes on. I think our least favorite was dealing with the lights and curtains. We had no idea where to start and what to look for. The hardest part was also trying to keep within the budget with everything. But we're almost there. In these two weeks, we'll be waiting for stuff to start wrapping up. I can't wait to clean up and start moving in! *happy happy joy joy*

In the midst of the renovation chaos, I still managed to squeeze in a 4 days 3 nights Bangkok shopping trip with my mom and sis, plus a 6 days 5 nights Taipei holiday with my girlfriends. Hubby was quite upset that I left him back in Malaysia alone. Hehe~ But no worries, I'm definitely packing him along for the next one in June - off to Club Med with another 2 couples! All the shopping must give it a rest. Time for relax, sun, sea and beach....

I have been quite uninspired to blog since returning to KL. But I just realized that I actually have followers to my blog and there were so many unread comments on some of my backdated blogs. I'm so sorry I've got no fancy pictures or blog design (I'm quite a technology idiot) to impress and worse of all, I've been lagging in blogging cause I just can't seem to find the motivation. Maybe cause my life is still settling right now (or maybe cause I'm just full of excuses). But it was very overwhelming to see support from strangers from other parts of the world leaving comments on my blog. I need to revive my writing skills (if I had any to start with). Thank you all.


Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year! 2 0 1 2

The year 2011 is over just like that! I haven't been inspired to blog over the past few months and was contemplating on starting a new blog, but obviously this very first blog of mine is too precious to be abandoned just like that.

2011 has been an eventful one for me. I was settling into living with my family after 6 years of being away. Then I got married. Went for almost a 2 week long honeymoon in Italy. Moved in with my in laws. Started a new job (yes I found a job in October month) and resigned in the span of 2 months. Went for 2 different 10km runs for the first time in my adult life. Caught up with more sewing (a new found hobby :) ). Received the house keys to our new home just 2 days before 2011 ended.

As usual, the new year hasn't exactly settled into the system yet. But I can't wait for all the things which is gonna happen in 2012. I have already booked holidays to Bangkok and Taiwan plus a Redang Island trip in planning process. Gonna start the exciting works on the new house and hopefully be able to move in by end March :) Have some business plan ideas which hopefully will finally carry out this year too!

What's installed for you this new year?

To infinity and beyond!~ Cheers :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Honeymoon in Italy - Day Four (Amalfi Coast)

We didn't have to set a time to wake up for once in those four days! What a nice day indeed :)

Our breakfast at Al Pesce D'oro B&B - Some kinda hard biscuit / bread with a selection of jams, butter or nutella

Warm crossaint with icing sugar powdered over

Our favourite fruit platter! (The waiter asked if we wanted it with lemon juice and sugar, we thought it was kinda weird to have it that way but figured out that must be the way the locals enjoy their fruits, so we opted for the lemon but skipped the sugar cause we are healthy like that :P)

After that we took a Sita bus to Amalfi Town. Its kinda a small town area where most tourists would hang out cause there are loads of shops which sells souvenirs there. While we were at the town, we sort of figured out that lemon must be their famous produce. Almost every souvenir was with a lemon logo on it and they had all sorts of lemon products - liqueurs, soaps, sweets, risotto (I bought that for my brother and he said it was yums!) and loads more...

Look at the size of their lemons! The middle ones are huge!! Almost as big as my head...

I think this was the local veg they put in our pizza the day before

Some random fountain....

But look closer...there are little figurines placed all over! How cute~

Posing in front of Amalfi Cathedral (there were other better looking photos, but I just like this one best...Hehe)

Different angle of the Cathedral...

View from the Cathedral...its really quite a small town....

Look at the solid metal used for the Cathedral's door!

The bell tower

Enjoying the al fresco style dining with his plate of cannelloni

This was what hubby was looking at....

My lunch - lasagne (Wanted salmon with penne but they ran out of it...boohoo*)

Lemon cake - which was almost forced on us by the most aggressive waitress ever! But hubby liked this waitress alot (ahem* she is probably late forties, not young girl :P) cause she was very convincing and had a 'flair' to waitressing. We even gave her a tip cause we were that impressed.

Don't let the outside of the cake fool you - It really is a lemon cake - A very yummy one too....

We bought some stamps and a postcard to write to my in-laws - This is proof of postage, just in case the postcard never arrives....

Random view of the coast near Amalfi - But you really need to be there in order to 'feel' the moment

Went back to Al Pesce D'oro for dinner - I ordered vongole

Tomato and Onion pizza on the house....

Nic ordered fish from the second course - They actually presented the whole fish to him before they set it aside and de-boned the thing into what you see in this picture

Let me explain abit of their menu. This is from my own observation, so it might not necessary be right. They had a menu consisting Appetizers, Main / First Course, Second Course, Desserts and as for drinks, they usually will ask if you would like water, then offer you some wine to go with your meal, and when you are done with dessert, they will offer you some coffee or liqueurs or aperetifs. Their appetizers will have the usual salad and finger food. Main or first course usually consists of pasta or pizza. Second course will offer you meat stuff or fish. I'm sure dessert needs no introduction, dessert is dessert. We usually are quite full with just a main course alone, but the locals there can really eat! We've seen most of them order from the menu A to Z - meaning every single course I've just mention, they will have something from it! *gulps* Amazing appetite....

Anyway, back to food - we also ordered croquettes - super fluffy and yummy!

They were unusually generous that night - Limoncello (lemon liqueur) on the house

We were quite worried about how our bill would turn out like during our stay at this B&B, cause we keep putting the meal tabs to our room. I don't think they usually have that practice but they were being very accomodating when we requested for it. But hubby said its our chill~ up day trip to Capri!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Honeymoon in Italy - Day Three (Amalfi Coast)

Breakfast at Hotel Napolitano

We woke up to (what we thought would be) a totally promising day filled with excitement as we were leaving stress town - Napoli (because its full of pick pockets apparently) and heading to our highlighted honeymoon destination - Amalfi Coast.

Little did we know....

We bought a bus ticket like the day before (€1.20 per tix), but this time we took a bus in the opposite direction. We boarded the bus, still very worried about pick pockets and our belongings. Did I mentioned that they have a weird ticketing system in Italy? You need to stamp your ticket at some machine in the bus to validate the ticket when you board the bus. Did I also mentioned that we were lugging around super heavy luggages while being worried about caring for our valuables? So yeah...we boarded the bus with the tickets, but because we were so busy trying to find a safe spot to stand in the crowded bus with all that luggage, we didn't stamp the tickets. I repeat, we DIDN'T stamp the tickets. We observed that nobody did either, so we thought it was okay to do the same. Then, as luck would have it, two guys boarded the bus to check on tickets....

Damn. In my head, I was already going through my tourist dialogue and I'm just gonna insist that I didn't know that we had to stamp those tickets. We showed our tickets to them. They just looked at us, then proceed to check on other tickets. The thing is, they didn't return our tickets and they started eyeing each other. Me and hubby thought we were safe from trouble...until we reached the terminal. Then everyone started getting off, these two monkeys collecting the ticket cornered us and started telling us that we did not validate our tickets. So I told him we were tourist and we didn't know cause nobody told us and we didn't see anyone doing that. He showed me how to validate one ticket then proceed to tell us that we had to pay a fine for the other one. The fine was €41.20. Damn...the ticket was barely a fraction of that!

Hubby had all the money with him, he just started making a move for the wallet and wanted to pay them. I was boiling with madness. He didn't even protest or put up a fight. I just kept telling the two monkeys we weren't going to pay for that crazy amount. Then one of them took out a police badge to frighten us. He said if we didn't pay up, he was going to bring us to the police station and God knows what else he said. Hubby didn't want trouble, so he just paid them the money. I was seriously SOOOOOO mad I could burn a house down....

Me and Nic were barely talking after that. We took a train to Sorrento (€4 per tix). It was super crowded on the train. Alot of tourists and locals were going to Pompei for a famous sight seeing spot. Some volcano I think. We didn't go cause it would've taken up too much of our travel time.

Super angry Nic - still mad from what happened about the ticket fine

Anyway, we made up during the train ride. Its difficult to be mad at each other when you are travelling. Especially when everyone else around you are in super happy mood. We took a Sita Bus (€7 per tix) just across the road of the Sorrento train station. We were gonna stay at Al Pesce D'oro at Amalfi. The bus ride was the craziest! It was super winding roads and many a times it was narrow too. We were standing in the bus and every time it took a turn, our hearts took a dive.

This was a glimpse from the bus ride along the coastal area...

We finally reached our B&B - couldn't wait to check in and have lunch after the whole morning of drama.

The corridor leading to our 'Margherita' room

Balcony area overlooking the coast

One small room which we used for our luggages

Our B&B for 3 nights

This shower had moments of cold shower off and on - it is also not advisable to sing in the shower cause the staircase leading to the Al Pesce D'oro restaurant was just outside...

Finally lunch! Yummy parma ham with mozzerella cheese and capers

Pouring some chilli olive oil into his seafood risotto


We took a long walk to Amalfi Town after lunch. Was quite scary cause there were lots of blind spots on a narrow winding road where buses, motorcycles and cars were all driving like mad men. The weather was surprisingly chilly even though it was summer. I expected sun, sea, sand and lots of bikini clad tourists and locals, but that was nowhere to be seen...

The Amalfi sign

We spotted a beach area somewhere along our walk....but it was deserted...

Lots of lemon orchards along the walk too

I've never seen such a tight bunch of bougainvilleas!!

After the long walk, we headed back to our B&B for some dinner. I think our B&B is quite famous for its food as during the time that we stayed there, they always had a healthy crowd arriving for dinner. Al Pesce D'oro was a family owned business and they had a split level restaurant. Upstairs and downstairs was managed by different brothers but they shared the same staff.

Al Pesce D'oro Restaurant (upstairs)

Our first seaview dinner - some gigantic pizza (with 6 different flavors)

#1 - Margherita

#2 - Zuchinni

#3 - Rocket leaves and Tomato

#4 - Chorizo sausages with some local veg

#5 - Parma Ham

#6 - Chorizo sausages with some local veg....Wait~ Didn't I already post this one up? Opps...I must have lost #6 upclose or mixed it up cause the one with the green stuff all looked the same! (This would teach me to blog about something 3 months later :P)

Oh well, overall we had a great dinner. Super filling! Next - Day four coming up....

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Honeymoon in Italy - Day Two (Napoli)

I know its a little bit off to be blogging about my holiday which was two and a half months ago, but better late than never right? *bleh*

Anyway, after our one night stay at Rome, we woke up fresh from a good-hotel-night's-sleep and proceed to the restaurant for the free breakfast. It was a simple spread of crossaints, pastries, breads and buns, fresh fruits, cold cuts, yoghurts, fruits juices and lots of coffee. If my memory still serves me well, I think Roma Point Hotel had one of the best selection for breakfast throughout our stay in Italy.

This is 'some' of the breakfast we had.

I think Europeans generally have very little breakfast. They usually have some bread, yoghurt or fruit and a cup of juice or coffee, and they are done. We keep getting stares when we went back for a second round of cold cuts with cheese. Hmm...maybe we just looked greedy. Hehe....

So after the hearty breakfast, we packed up and took a taxi from hotel to Termini train station. Cabs are super expensive! We spent about €28 just like that! *gulps* We bought a train ticket to Napoli (which is € 10.50 per pax).

Proof of purchase

When we reached Napoli train station, we had to take a bus to our hotel. Imagine lugging all that luggage. Hubby's nightmare started. We didn't even know where to board the bus, we just kept following people and walked back and forth with luggages in tow. People there were not too friendly when we asked for directions. We were also told that Napoli wasn't the safest town. It was all over the internet on travel forums that tourists had the worst luck with pick pockets there. It was stressful to be worried about your belongings at the same time when you are lost.

We finally found the bus and got to Hotel Napolitano. The building was some kinda shared office building which looked nothing like a hotel (freaking run down). The lift was even more dodgy. It was the super fat buttons which was green and red colored. It was tiny and felt like it was gonna break down any moment. But lucky for us, the hotel wasn't too bad.

My favourite bathroom (throughout the whole holiday) Separate from the toilet area with a tight door and super hot shower....Ahhhhhh....yums....

They had limited toiletries to offer, but it was fine by me :)

Hotel Napolitano

We had no rest cause we were on a mission to find the most popular pizza place. Nic said he read that Napoli had the best pizza and he found some directions to lead us to one. It was about 20 minutes walk from our hotel.

Stopped for a random photo at some University - the statue area which he is posing with smelt like 100 people pee-ed there! Eewww~

Da Michele (pronounced as Da Mi-ke-le I think). We found it! Julia Roberts was there when she filmed 'Eat, Pray, Love'

They had a super simple menu with the cheapest price! :)

Magherita pizza at a NORMAL size. I thought they got my order wrong and gave me a maxi instead....

This restaurant had more tourists than local people. We saw mostly Americans and there were a Japanese family and a couple of others. The serving was huge but the pizza was not overly cheesy (in a good way) so it was still good. I'd definitely recommend this place.

We walked around after our huge pizza meal and came across this church - Naples Cathedral or better known as San Gennaro Cathedral.

Its interior was super impressive despite the humble outlook. It was really grand. Nic had an awe moment when he stepped in. Unfortunately we have no pictures to share as it was not allowed to take photos inside of the cathedral.

Castello Nuovo

This castle was closed by the time we got there. So we only took very few photos outside. We had quite an enjoyable day in Napoli despite all the pick pocketing we were so worried about. Nic was so paranoid that he made sure I carried nothing at all.

We were so tired by the time we got back to the hotel. Get rest. Next day - Amalfi!